By Holly Fesperman LeeSalisbury Post
Healthy Children of Rowan County held its annual ADHD Summer Camp this week at Dan Nicholas Park.
The camp is designed to help children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder learn teamwork, problem solving and social skills.
ADHD is one of the major mental health disorders of childhood, and it’s present in 3 to 5 percent of the elementary school population.
Eleven children participated in the camp this year. That number has been as high as 50 when the organization advertised heavily, but participation usually ranges from 10 to 20 campers, according to Dr. Wayne Koontz of Salisbury Pediatric Associates.
Koontz and Dr. Jill Aiken, former Salisbury pediatrician, formed Healthy Children of Rowan County in 2002 in response to the need in the community and requests by parents.
Koontz said even though this year’s camp didn’t draw a large number of children, the smaller group is more manageable.
“We’ve got great kids out there. The kids are having a ball. They really like this camp,” he said.
Koontz said numbers weren’t the camp’s main goal.
“I think the primary thing is who you’re reaching. And who we’re reaching is ADHD kids that really enjoy the camp.
“They’re learning teamwork and respect for their teachers,” he said.
Koontz explained that many children with ADHD tend to keep to themselves and often are difficult to manage in school.
“These kids are doing great; we get them on task and we get them to focus,” he said.
This year the camp went with a Hawaiian theme. The first thing children did was discuss volcanos. Koontz said children later got to make their own volcanos and watch them explode.
“It’s supposed to be fun, too; it’s not supposed to be just school,” he said.